For the first three months of 2018, it looked like we might have a crisis on our hands as more games than usual were shutting down. Thankfully, in the last three months, things have slowed down significantly. With that being said, there have still been 18 MMOs shut down in 2018 so far.
Battle of the Immortals and War of the Immortals – January 9th
Perfect World Entertainment started off 2018 by announcing they were shutting down two of their older games. There was no reason given for the shutdowns, but a declining player base as the games aged is a pretty safe bet. But this actually isn’t the beginning of the PWE story, back in November they shut down Runic Games, the makers of Torchlight, Torchlight II, and Hob. At the same time they downsized Gigantic’s studio Motiga, but more on them further down.
Perpetuum - January 25th
In September 2017 the developers of Perpetuum came out and said that while they always knew it would be a niche game, it never really took off. With that in mind they ended development on the game, though kept the servers online while they looked at their options. Sadly, by mid-January, the costs of keeping Perpetuum online became too much for the developers and they were forced to shut the game down.
Master X Master (MXM)- January 31st
After spending much of 2017 trying to appeal to former City of Heroes players by bringing out beloved iconic characters from the game, MXM ultimately shut down at the end of January. From the start though it seemed like a questionable proposition. It was late to the MOBA scene and trying to take an idea that had already been used by Blizzard of using iconic characters from their various games. Unfortunately for NCSoft, most of the games they focused on are practically unknown in the West and the games that are well known are controversial or downright unpopular. The exception to that is Guild Wars 2, which MXM hardly touched at all. Ultimately, NCSoft admitted that they failed to connect with players.
Linkrealms - January 31st
The journey for LinkRealms was a long one, though it only spent a short bit of that time on Steam. The game went into Early Access in early 2016, then it was announced the game would be free to play from October of that year. Sadly, without any money coming in, the developers couldn’t keep the game running and it had to shut down.
Scrolls - February 13th
Anyone who was a fan of Scrolls knew the game was going to be shut down eventually. Perhaps what is most shocking in fact is how long it stuck around. It was announced all the way back in 2015 that Mojang wasn’t developing the game anymore and that the servers would stay online “for some time”. Well that time finally came this year, which honestly is a pretty good run for a card game that wasn’t getting any new content. Scrolls is perhaps best known as the cause of a lawsuit between Zenimax and Mojang over the use of the word ‘Scrolls’ in the name.
Demon's Souls - February 28th
Demon’s Souls had a long run of almost 9 years when it was announced that the game was shutting down. The game is still playable as all the online components were completely optional, but it was an option people loved nonetheless.
Devilian - March 5th
Devilian was a victim of its brother game’s success; that game is PUBG. Both were created by the same studio but when PUBG started to get big, Devilian started getting neglected. Trion, who were publishing Devilian in the West tried their best to work with Bluehole with no success. In the end, they decided to call it quits for the game.
Battleline: Steel Warfare – April 7th
Bandai Namco’s tank shooting game went under the radar for a lot of people. In fact, the sunset wasn’t covered by any of the MMO focused gaming sites, MMOGames included. We only found out about it thanks to one of our readers who pointed it out to us, thanks Alberto Honorato! Fans didn’t take the news well on Steam and left some pretty harsh comments about the game on the sunset announcement.
Cabal 2 - April 18th
Despite being live for around 3 years, the developers used the kind of language you usually see in sunset announcements for newer games. They said the game didn’t resonate with as many players as they’d hoped. If this were the case though, why did Cabal 2 last as long as it did, with updates, and new content even? The second reason they gave fits the narrative far better: continued operation is no longer sustainable.
Paragon - April 26th
Epic has been having…please forgive this…they’ve been having an epic year thanks to Fortnite. But in the middle of all their epic winning (sorry, I had to), they shut down their MOBA Paragon. Fans were, of course, disappointed and hopeful that Paragon would get bought by someone, but that wasn’t to be. Epic released Paragon Assets for free to use in Unreal Engine 4 development, these were worth $12 million.
Special Mention: LawBreakers/Radical Heights - May 14th
Boss Key shut down in mid-May and as a result are getting an honorable mention on this list. Neither of the studios two games have actually shut down yet, however. Radical Heights, the 80s themed battle royale game with an incomplete map is still getting a peak concurrent player base of around 250-300 people every day. LawBreakers, on the other hand, is averaging 0-2 concurrent players during the week which goes up sometimes as high as 15 on the weekends. Why neither game has actually been shut off yet is anyone’s guess.
Echo of Soul - May 23rd
Life was never easy for Echo of Soul in the West, but they kept trying anyway. In fact, though the Echo of Soul classic servers are shutting down, the Phoenix servers are alive and well. So it isn’t really the end of Echo of Soul just yet.
Swordsman Online and Jade Dynasty - June 5th
Here we are once again at Perfect World Entertainment shutting down two games at once. The teams working on Swordsman Online and Jade Dynasty are being moved on to bigger and better things. Though what they are is anyone’s guess. They also said that they felt there was nowhere else for Swordsman Online to go.
More to Come…
We know already that Perfect World Entertainment has at least one more game to sunset this year, Gigantic. The MOBA with fantastic art just never really took off and with the studio having been closed... well, we knew it was coming.
In addition to Gigantic, we already have shutdown dates for Runescape Classic, Runescape Legends, and Ace of Spades.
What will the rest of 2018 bring us? Only time will tell.